One finish that people love is the raw wood effect. Floors done in this finish look natural or unfinished, but they are still protected from scratches and other damage. It gives your floors a modern look, and it is easier to do than staining.
You can give your floors a raw wood finish by sanding them and applying an oil, or you can apply a natural lacquer that has an ultra-low sheen. Apply several coats, and you will enjoy your natural-looking floors.
What Is the Raw Wood Effect?
When you install wood floors, you can leave them with a finish that resembles raw wood. There are several different ways to achieve this look. Most of the time, people achieve this look by sanding the wood and then protecting it with another substance.
You don’t have to start with unfinished wood; you can actually sand the finish off of any wood floors. Another option is to use a wood stripper. The important thing to remember is that this process removes any finish that was protecting the wood, so you will need to use another product that protects the wood while allowing its natural look to show.
The raw wood effect allows the floors to look natural and rustic, and it creates an environment that is warm and welcoming. It also shows the unique qualities of each piece of wood, and it can be quite elegant.
What Are the Advantages of Using Natural Wood?
There are several advantages to using natural wood to create a raw wood effect. First of all, it is attractive. It carries the inherent beauty of nature because each piece of natural wood is unique. The rings and marks in the wood are different for each piece, similar to human fingerprints.
Natural wood is also very durable. There are rare types you can use that are known to be hard and attractive, and they can last many years. It is also solid, especially compared to engineered wood. It is stylish and luxurious, and it gives your home its own distinct look.
Another advantage to using raw wood floors is that it has some imperfections that give it character, and it hides dirt and dust. This makes it very easy and convenient to live with. The important thing is to make sure that you condition them with an oil-based soap.
How to Seal Unfinished Wood
If you use unfinished wood to achieve the raw wood effect, you won’t be able to leave it untreated. The wood will be likely to be damaged without a protective finish. There are several different ways to finish the wood floors.
The first step is to sand the floors. Whether you are installing new floors or taking the stain off old ones, you will sand them and then seal them right away. Sanding is important because it opens up the grain so that the finish can get inside and protect it, but it also exposes the wood to any moisture in the air. If you wait to seal it, the moisture can get inside and cause the wood to expand and possibly become discolored.
One option is to seal the floor with oil. First, you need to remove all of the sand that has accumulated, and then you can pour the oil on the floor and wipe it with a clean rag. Move your rag in the direction of the floorboards, and wipe the extra oil up as you go. Once you finish, you can let the floor dry for 24 to 48 hours, and then you can apply a second coat.
Another option is to seal the floor with polyurethane with a matte finish. You can use a flooring applicator, and pour a line of the polyurethane on the floor. Then, drag the applicator across the length of the floor without lifting it. If you use a water-based product, it will dry in around two hours, and oil-based products take around 24 hours. Then, apply the next coat. Normally people apply three coats of polyurethane.
Tips for Maintaining Raw Wood Floors
If you decide to have the raw wood effect on your floors, you will want to take steps to maintain and protect them. First, you should use floor protector pads under your furniture. It is also important to clean your rugs on a regular basis, and if they get wet, you should take them outside to dry them.
You can also move the rugs to different parts of the room to prevent the floors from fading in any location. Another consideration is the humidity levels in the room. Wood is hygroscopic, so it takes in moisture and expands, and then it contracts when it releases the moisture. You need to make sure that you control the humidity in the house to prevent the wood from over-expanding.
If you spill any liquids, you need to make sure to clean it up right away. In addition, if you have potted plants, move them regularly and try putting a plastic tray underneath the pot to prevent moisture from getting into the floor below.
When you clean your floors, use less soap and water because it can damage the floor. Use an oil-based soap, and wipe it with a clean cloth. You should not wet-mop the floors because it can leave extra water on the floors. Make sure that you use cleaning products that are designed for unfinished floors because other products may leave a stain.
If you do end up with a stain, you should sand it very carefully. You can vacuum the floor to remove the sand so that it doesn’t rub on the floor and scratch it. Although these floors look amazing, you will want to take care of them so that you can enjoy the look.
The best way to give your floors the raw wood effect is to install unfinished hardwood or to sand your existing finished floors to remove the stain and the finish. Make sure that you seal the floors with polyurethane with a matte finish, beeswax, or oil. Then, take care to maintain them so that the floors stay beautiful for a long time.